‘My vision for Nevada County’s future…’ | TheUnion.com
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‘My vision for Nevada County’s future…’

The Union StaffAntonson
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

As a multi-generation Northern Californian raised in Auburn, I’ve camped and hiked in the surrounding hills and played in the waters of our rivers, lakes and streams since I was a small child. During the seasons, my mother and her mother picked fruit around the Newcastle area.

As children, we never worried about where we could ride horses or ponies; open space was abundant.

We also never had to worry about our safety on the two-mile trek to school. The sheriff or fireman was there when we needed him, neighbors said hello to each other in the grocery store, and we always had a great park within which to play.



Ranchers, commuters, attorneys, developers, doctors, teachers, loggers and laborers didn’t always see eye to eye, but went to great lengths to work out differences for the benefit of the community.

Through the years, I watched as this beautiful rural area was drastically developed. I saw the closure of lumber mills and other producers of raw materials which are dependent on harvesting renewable resources.




We’re all fortunate to live in a county that is rich in history, which is beautiful and is prosperous.

While division has occurred recently due to the NH 2020 nightmare, our most precious resource seems to be overlooked, and that is our citizens. We have people with vast knowledge and experience as well as folks who are just starting their young families.

It’s with this in mind that I find myself contemplating what the future may hold for Nevada County.

This election is about people wanting to be heard by their elected officials. It is about people wanting to trust their government again. I’d like to see individuals and groups in our community treated with respect and dignity when they come before the Board of Supervisors.

I truly believe that the role of government is that, first it will do no harm to the people. This would include wisely spending their hard-earned tax dollars and not imposing unnecessary, harmful or costly regulations and restrictions. I would ensure that we have a county government that will serve our residents in a timely, courteous fashion and make certain that our public safety is properly manned and equipped to serve the public.

A major priority must be those issues long ignored that are of concern to the citizens such as safe roads, dependable and cost-effective infrastructure, well-coordinated top-notch community facilities and programs, and health care.

I would pursue those issues that the people feel are most important and intervene when necessary to solve problems at the state and federal levels. This would include working closely with those elected officials that you have chosen to represent you at those levels of government.

Unfortunately, growth will continue to come to Nevada County. How we choose to manage that growth will determine how we work and live.

I’ve concluded from my experiences as a lifelong Northern Californian that we need balance and well-planned development.

Close attention must be paid to the General Plan, which is the guide for long-term planning. We must balance the economic needs of the community while also protecting our quality of life that most of us have come to treasure.

Proper planning includes asking these questions: Do we have the needed infrastructure? Do we have open space and parks? Is this hindering private property rights?

Furthermore, as we plan for growth, we must address work force housing. Lip service on this issue is no longer acceptable. It is estimated that, in order to serve our communities, Nevada County needs about 4,000 new units. I believe that working together, we can make real progress with this critical issue.

There are always many issues that must be tackled by government. No one, not even a group, can solve all of the problems that communities face.

The essence of good leadership is the ability to define what the people want, prioritize those items and work together to solve them. If over the next four years we can take just a few of the issues that I have written about here, work together, and plan properly, then our county will be even a better place to work and live.

There is an old saying that “vision can never be realized unless your heart is in it.” I believe that working together, we have an opportunity to make these visions come true.

Robin Sutherland


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